Sunday, 27 August 2017 15:23

UNHCR Iraq opens new camp for displaced families fleeing Telafar and surrounding areas

Erbil, Iraq, 27.08.2017: UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has opened a new camp in Ninewah Governorate to respond to newly-displaced Iraqis fleeing the military operations in Telafar and surrounding areas.

The government-constructed Nimrud camp, around 55 kilometres from Telafar, was handed over to UNHCR to manage. The camp received nearly 350 families (around 2,000 individuals) on its opening day on Saturday. Senior government officials, including the Deputy Minister of Migration and Displacement, Mr. Jassim Attia, were present at the camp opening.

More than 1,500 more families (around 9,000 individuals) who have been sheltering at UNHCR’s transit site in Hammam Al-Alil are expected to arrive within the coming days.

The camp still requires some construction work to complete the water sanitation and hygiene services. The government has said electricity will also be installed shortly.

The total capacity of the camp will be 3600 families (around 22,000 individuals).

One of the first arrivals at the camp was Khodeira, a mother of six young children. Her husband was taken by extremist groups and she does not know his whereabouts. “This is a castle compared to how we were living the past three years, especially in the past two weeks”, she said, after receiving a tent and emergency items. “We are happy to be settled now. I hope our ordeal will soon be over.”

In addition to receiving a tent, new arrivals at the camp are provided food and non-food items provided by several agencies. UNHCR provides an emergency package consisting of quilts, mattresses, kitchen sets, jerry cans, and a solar lantern.

Nimrud camp, constructed by the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) in Ninewa Governorate, was handed over to UNHCR and its partners for upgrading work and to ensure that it would be ready to receive displaced families from Telafar as quickly as possible. The new camp will be managed by UNHCR’s partner, Iraqi Salvation Humanitarian Organisation (ISHO) which also manages Hammam Al-Alil and Al Salamiyah displacement camps.

“Our partners and our team are identifying the most vulnerable, providing everyone with the basic relief items that they need in order to lead a dignified life in this camp,” said Hovig Etyemezian, Head of UNHCR’s Mosul Office.

According to the latest government figures, more than 40,000 people have been displaced from Telafar since April 2017. Just before the military operations began on 20 August, a surge of families fled from surrounding areas of Telafar.

“We are grateful to the Iraqi authorities for developing Nimrud camp with significant housing capacity”, said Bruno Geddo, UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “The handover of the camp to UNHCR is an excellent example of the level of trust and co-operation we have established in supporting the government response to the displacement crisis in Iraq.”

UNHCR has built 13 other camps in order to respond to the large-scale displacement from Mosul and surrounding areas, and is currently preparing Al Salamiyah 3 camp with 1,000 plots for families displaced from Telafar, which is due to open in early September.

UNHCR urgently needs USD 126 million to meet the critical needs of vulnerable families fleeing from conflict areas, as well as those returning to areas of Mosul that are now safe, until the end of the year.


Caroline Gluck This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 7809207286 (Baghdad)
Amira Abd El-Khalek This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 772 616 3729 (Erbil)
Saif al-Tatooz This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 780 195 8468 (Baghdad)

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR
Last modified on Sunday, 27 August 2017 16:42

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